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Two UC Berkeley Public Health professors have been granted seed money from UCOP for projects to help California address critical needs of high-risk populations brought on by the COVID-19 public health crisis.

Dr. Brenda Eskenazi, director of the Center for Environmental Research and Children’s Health, was awarded a grant to determine what obstacles may hinder Latinos who work in agriculture in the state’s Salinas Valley from complying with mandatory COVID-19 safety measures. It will also assess changes in mental health related to COVID-19 fears for parents and young children in the same population.

Professor of Community Health Services Dr. Lia Fernald was awarded a grant for a project that seeks to understand the effect that COVID-19 mitigation strategies, such as shelter-at-home orders, have on disadvantaged California families with children. Her work will then inform a national survey that can assess how to best support families living in poverty nationally over the course of the pandemic.